Posted inMember BenefitsMember Benefits and ServicesMember Discount Program

Discounts for outdoor activities

Now’s the time to get out there and enjoy the great outdoors—hurry, before it’s too late! When planning your next camping trip, visit your Beneplace discount site to see how much you can save. Beneplace has tons of great savings on everything you need—from tents to marshmallow sticks and everything in between.
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Posted inLegislatureNewsState Bar

Texas Senate passes State Bar Sunset bill

In a unanimous vote Tuesday, the Texas Senate passed Senate Bill 302 by Sen. Kirk Watson of Austin, the State Bar of Texas Sunset bill.

The Senate voted, 31-0, on a committee substitute of the bill after adding two amendments.

One amendment would leave the setting of dues in the referendum process in cases where an increase of more than 10 percent was proposed over a six-year period. Under the original bill, which was based on recommendations adopted by the Sunset Advisory Commission, all dues changes regardless of amount would have been approved as part of the existing State Bar budget process instead of through a referendum.

(The State Bar has not increased dues since 1991, and no dues increase is being contemplated.) Continue Reading

Posted inAbout The BarAccess to JusticeNews

State Bar of Texas launches legal incubator

TOJI

The State Bar of Texas launched the Texas Opportunity & Justice Incubator, or TOJI, today in Austin, with its inaugural group of participating lawyers starting their first day of the program, which aims to bridge the justice gap by connecting new lawyers in need of employment opportunities with citizens in need of legal assistance.

TOJI, the first statewide legal incubator in Texas, provides participating new lawyers with the real-world business skills needed to establish practices that serve low- and modest-income Texans. Studies have shown that only one in five low-income Americans and two in five middle-income Americans with civil needs find legal help. Continue Reading

Posted inGuest Blog

Guest blog: Legal issues surrounding homeless students

The Every Student Succeeds Act, enacted by the federal government in late 2015, recently amended the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act to address the educational effects of homelessness.

The legislation alters the definition of homeless, commissions new methods of identifying homeless students, attempts to keep students in their original school district as long as possible, and creates many additional notice, privacy, and referral obligations for districts.

As before, McKinney-Vento services are provided through the state’s local education agencies (called LEAs in the law, but Texas calls them “districts” or “charters”) and coordinated by a locally appointed liaison.

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Posted inNewsVeterans

Free legal clinic in Katy serves veterans

veterans_unsplashA free legal clinic will be held in Katy to serve veterans in need of legal assistance.

The clinic, put on by the Katy Bar Association and the Houston Bar Foundation’s Veterans Legal Initiative, will be held at the Katy Elks Lodge 2628, 1050 Katy Fort Bend Rd., 77493.

Veterans and spouses of deceased veterans will get to meet with volunteer attorneys for one-on-one advice and counsel in several areas of law, including family, wills and probate, consumer, and real estate and tax law. Attorneys will also be available to discuss disability and veterans benefits.

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Posted inGuest Blog

Guest blog: Three tax tips for every lawyer

1. Constructive Receipt and Lawyer Trust Accounts

Lawyers often face constructive receipt tax issues, whether they know it or not. Constructive receipt—a tax term used to determine when a taxpayer has received gross income—is one of those subjects that many people think they understand in part because it comes up frequently.

Around year-end, chances are, you’ve heard someone say: “Pay me next year.” Many of these transactions escape the IRS and get paid and reported later. And the federal W-2 or 1099 forms reporting of transactions is likely to carry weight.

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Posted inMember BenefitsMember Benefits and ServicesMember Discount Program

Discounts for financial planning

Spring is a great time to clean up your finances! As a State Bar member, you have access to the Beneplace website, where you can browse and compare deals to save on purchases large and small. You can refinance your car, compare identity/credit protection services, and get your taxes done. Visit the Beneplace page to start saving today.
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Posted inCLENews

An update on MCLE reporting on State Bar of Texas website

The State Bar of Texas appreciates the patience of our attorneys as we transition to a new online system for minimum continuing legal education reporting.

During the course of the past week, technical problems arose that required the online MCLE portal features be taken offline. Our IT staff has been working around the clock to resolve these issues as quickly as possible. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Should you need assistance with reporting your hours, you may contact the MCLE department at mcle@texasbar.com; (800) 204-2222, ext. 1806; or (512) 427-1806.

Posted inAccess to JusticeEducationLaw SchoolsSpecial Event

Register now to attend University of Houston’s “People’s Law School”

The “People’s Law School” returns to the University of Houston on April 1.

The event, sponsored by the Houston Lawyer Referral Service and the Center for Consumer Law at the University of Houston Law Center, will host more than 40 volunteer lawyers, judges, and law professors as they teach courses for the public in 15 different areas of law.

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